Television Top Trumps: Yara Greyjoy from Game of Thrones vs Kate from Upstart Crow

They say there are only two certainties in life – death, and taxes. But that’s not strictly true, for we’ve just found a third certainty. The certainty that this feature would eventually make its way to Game of Thrones, for the overwhelming size of the cast made it inevitable that we’d get there at some point.

But who are we putting up for battle? Is it Ned Stark vs Sharpe? John Snow vs Robert Catesby? Littlefinger vs Tommy Carcetti?

No. It’s Yara Greyjoy vs Kate from Upstart Crow, Ben Elton’s Shakespeare-themed sitcom. Both are portrayed by Gemma Whelan, and both have some pretty good feminist credentials. But who will win – the warrior Yara, or the corseted Kate?

It’s another forgeone conclusion, isn’t it?

Social standing

Yara: Young Yara is of fancy stock, being as she is the daughter of the king of the Iron Islands. You’d think this would make her top of absolutely everything but this is Game of Thrones, where there are seven kingdoms and about 25,000 claimants to the various thrones of those various kingdoms. So really, it’s equivalent to being a middle manager in a relatively large company. 7/10

Kate: Kate’s of rather simpler stock; she’s the daughter of a pub landlord. Yes, it’s not quite as fancy as Yara, but there’s probably a lot less murdering going on around her. 5/10


Yara: A bit grimy. Often heavily armoured. Could really do with a good wash. But given that she is pretty much always involved in some heavy-duty scheming and warfare, that’s probably fair enough. 7/10

Kate: Trussed up and fancy, because she’s an Elizabethan. But, if we’re being all historically accurate about it, she could probably also do with a good wash. People in the past weren’t great on hygiene, y’know. 6/10

Feminist credentials

Yara: Yara was raised as a surrogate son, commands her own ship, and is generally pretty bad-ass. No being meek and mild here. Definitely not. 9/10

Kate: Rails against the unfairness of the Elizabethan patriarchy through speeches that seem to apply equally to our own time. Clever that, isn’t it? 9/10


Yara: Daenerys. Tyrion. Lily Allen’s rather useless brother. Yara keeps some good company. 9/10

Kate: Shakespeare. Christopher Marlowe. A man called Bottom. Kate keeps some better company. But I would say that, for I'm a pretentious English graduate. 10/10

Great fight

Yara: So many fights. All the fights. Yara’s life is basically one big fight. But that’s what happens when you’re in a show that’s all about warring noble families. You get in a lot of fights. 10/10

Kate: Kate has a fight of her own – to get to be an actress. Sure it’s not quite as full-on as Yara’s and she’s up against relentless sexism rather than actual armies, but you’ve got to give the girl some credit. 7/10

The verdict

In this surprisingly high scoring round, it’s Yara that takes it, with 42 to Kate’s still impressive 37. Because, it appears, the sword is in fact mightier than the pen. Or at least it's mightier than the desperate desire to read words written by the pen on stage in front of strangers.


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